One damaged 4-wheel drive tire



My friend was hit in the front end while stopped at an intersection. Her Ford Escape suffered front end damage, and damage to her right drivers tire. The tire needs to be replaced so we were wondering, if because it’s 4-wheel drive, does she need not only to replace the damaged tire, but does she need to replace 2 or all 4 tires?


As with so many other things relating to her car, the best source of information is sitting in her glove compartment. Tell her to thoroughly read all sections of her Owner’s Manual that might deal with this topic.

Sometimes information in these manuals is not where you expect it to be, so tell her to read the sections pertaining to:

Changing a flat tire
Rotating tires
Selecting new tires
All-wheel drive system operation

If differing tire circumferences are problematic on her vehicle, the topic will be covered in at least one of these sections. And, who knows, once she reads this information in the manual, she just might find out some other vital things about her car that she needs to know.

The Owner’s Manual has been called “The Least-Read Best-Seller in the World”–and that is unfortunate since owners have so much to gain from actually reading this little book.


It depends on the car. I believe that most AWD’s if not all need to have closely matched tyres. I am not sure about 4WD drives, but as VDCdriver suggested, that information should be in the owner’s manual. If it is listed there, then believe it or plan or replacing some mighty expensive parts. It may be possible to buy one new tyre and have it shaved to match the circumference of the existing tyres.


With a 4wd system you do NOT need to replace all 4 tires.

However…I’m not sure the Escape is 4wd. I think it’s AWD. If so then you will need to replace all 4 tires.


Mike is probably correct.

However, rather than relying on this probability, your friend should act on the certainty of the information in her Owner’s Manual.


As stated above, this will depend on if the vehicle is FOUR-wheel-drive, or ALL-wheel-drive. There are important differences.

If 4WD, you can safely replace just the one tire. However, if it’s AWD, then you’re best off replacing all four; no need to take an unnecessary risk.